Sunday, July 14, 2024
The Parents' Voice

Lego

Chances are if you have a child four and over you know what Lego is. Most children absolutely love to build with this simple, colorful, inviting toy. Lego is a timeless toy that has been around since 1932, and still going strong. If your child is younger than four, you might consider the Mega Blocks or Duplo brand. Both blocks are also great for kids to be exposed to, they can also be precursors to the fun Lego that requires fine motor skills your child will soon develop.
Not only is Lego fun to build with, but there are a ton of reasons why it’s educational for your child to be using the toy. Here are some of the reasons why it’s good to have Lego around for your kids to play with.

  • Lego helps build fine motor skills: Fine motor skills are the skills that kids have to develop to be able to manipulate their pencil, scissors, zippers, buttons and other small things as they head off to school. Picking up Lego and putting the pieces together both work the small parts of a child’s finger.
  • Creativity: This is my favourite aspect of Lego building. The sky is the limit. One day they may build a zoo, the next day it could be a stepladder into a pool. Whatever they come up with they are the artist/builder/creator. There are so many great pieces you can use with Lego, wheels, doors, windows, trees, people, jewels etc. At our popular event, Lego club, there is always a topic that is suggested to spark your creativity.
  • Cooperative Play: Having Lego available in a classroom or daycare setting can have the same effects as the dramatic play corner does. Children can work together to create parts of a story, one child might create the steps to the magical tower while the other child creates the princess’ bedroom. Together they can create a story that only they could’ve imagined. If they aren’t ready to share a project, they may cooperate by passing each other pieces or colours.
  • Sense of Accomplishment: My children love nothing more than to spend time building at the Lego table and then call us over to show us their creations. The idea that they came up with in their head has now become a reality and is proudly displayed for all to see. Each time they get to proudly show off their creation it helps build their self-confidence. At Lego club, pieces of work get displayed for the month.
  • Persistence: Finding the exact piece you require alone can take persistence. Lego also comes apart rather easily, if you drop your structure while building it you may have to put parts of it back together. It’s amazing how kids that play regularly with Lego quickly realize that a broken tower is not the end of the game but can easily be repaired and often the second time around they’ve thought of a new idea and it’s even better.
  • Solving a puzzle: Creating something from a pile of Lego is in fact solving a puzzle. Finding each piece you need to make the overall picture you have in your mind is a job well done. If your child has ever tried the Lego kits they are also working at solving a puzzle by following the directions. They will quickly realize that if they skip a step the end result may not be the same as the picture.
  • Science: Cause and effect is a lesson learned quickly while building with Lego. Kids love to create tall towers, however if not properly supported it will come tumbling down. This enforces children to think about how to build their structure so that it will stay sturdy. My children have learned to stack the blocks in a way that they always overlap to make their layers stronger. It is so awesome to see the growth as they learn to build.
  • Math: Math is all around you when playing with Lego. Patterning (create a pattern using colours), counting (I have three two-piece Legos left), one to one correspondence (each piece is very valuable when you’re trying to accomplish a structure with a limited number of pieces), volume (how much can my structure hold), symmetry (can I make both sides the same?). Honestly, it’s all there for them to work through and figure out – no workbooks needed.

If you’re convinced that Lego is definitely worth playing with, join us every first Thursday of the month for Lego club at the Shawville-Clarendon library from 6:00-6:50 p.m. There’s always a great group of friends to build with and we’ll also proudly display your structure in the library for the month. Cost is 2$/child and all fees go towards buying more Lego pieces for the club. Our next Lego club happens Feb. 1.

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